Become a Problem Solver For Your Customers

in Customer

A number of years ago, I was flying back to Detroit, Michigan on Delta Airlines. After landing in Knoxville to connect with my transfer flight, I checked in at the airline counter and was unpleasantly surprised. At the time I had boarded my originating flight in Dallas, my baggage had been improperly checked to Chicago. Realizing there were only a few minutes before the plane on which I was connecting would be leaving, I anxiously asked the agent if my baggage could possibly be transferred to this flight.

He said, "Mr. Borg, (I like being called by name) I'll see what I can do." He then left the counter. He still hadn't returned when the final boarding call for Detroit was given. I reluctantly boarded and sat despondently waiting for the plane to leave without my baggage. Unexpectedly, the pilot announced that our flight would be momentarily delayed while they transferred a passenger's bag to the flight.

The door suddenly opened and onto the airplane walked the agent I had spoken to earlier. He looked around the airplane, saw me sitting in my seat, and came over to me. He knelt down next to me and as I looked at him I could see beads of sweat on his forehead. (I knew he had been up to something!) He said, "Mr. Borg, I want you to know I have personally transferred your bag to this plane. You will be able to pick it up in baggage claim in Detroit. Have a great flight. At the Detroit baggage claim, my bag was the first one to arrive on the conveyor belt. Now that's what I call service! This agent figured out a solution to my dilemma. He was a problem solver.

By becoming a problem solver for our customers, we are communicating to them that we value them as human beings as well as patrons.


Answer true or false to the following statements regarding your customers' problems:

1. Whenever a customer expresses a special need, I explain to them that it is not my job. True False

2. If most customers would just take the time to read the signs and the written policies, it would solve half of my headaches. True False

3. I don't have nor want the authority to solve most of my customers' problems. True False

4. Most of my customers are just looking for an opportunity to take advantage of our company policies. True False

5. My main responsibility is getting my work done, not solving my customers' problems. True False

Give yourself 2 points for each false answer and 0 points for each true answer you recorded. If you scored lower than 10 points, your customer service attitude could use some improvement.

The answers to this quiz are explained below.

1. Customers do expect a lot of service. Their special needs are important to them. It's best to resolve needs to the best of your ability.

2. Many times, customers fail to read the signs that have been posted. They expect the employee to have the answers to their questions. They don't want to try and figure out how your system works; they want satisfaction as soon as possible.

3. Customers don't want to know what you CAN'T DO; they want to know what you CAN DO. Do your best to provide the service the customer is looking for.

4. Although it may seem that some of your customers are trying to take advantage of your company, most customers are not. Statistics show that 95-99 % of customers are honest. It's important to treat people with trust and respect. Think about how you would like to be treated if you were a custom¬er in someone else's business.

5. Although it may seem that getting your job done is so much more important than dealing with a customer, you wouldn't have a job if there weren't any customers. Make sure you discuss this idea with your staff, co-workers and management and get their suggestions on what is the appropriate action to take when your job responsibilities interfere with serving the customer.

This quiz will give you, your employees and co-workers a good indication of the attitude your company has towards helping your customers solve their problems.

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Tom Borg has 1 articles online

Tom Borg is president of Tom Borg Consulting Development & Training. He is a small business consultant, trainer, and author.

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Become a Problem Solver For Your Customers

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This article was published on 2010/03/29